20 Quotes from Facing Leviathan by Mark Sayers

facingleviathanI reviewed this book some time ago here, but now I’d like to share some of my favorite insights. This really is my favorite book that I’ve read so far in 2014. Please take that comment seriously. I encourage you to pick up a copy of Facing Leviathan by Mark Sayers.

Here are 20 quotes from this book:

1. “While we may have an aversion to leadership and organization, we still wish to influence, to effect change, and to create meaning. Technological advances like social networking have given us the impression that we can now have influence minus responsibility, leadership, and organization” (16).

2. “Technology and science had now, in the minds of many replaced the need for God” (49).

3. “The society of the spectacle is a culture built upon illusion, distraction, and entertainment, which runs from the inevitable storms of human sinfulness, injustice, and brokenness. The society of the spectacle attempts to protect itself from discomfort and pain” (60).

4. “In times of great untruth, God will call leadership to be his heralds of truth” (68).

5. “Before the leader can save, he first must be saved. Before he can speak God’s Word, he must encounter the Word” (70).

6. “The hero, like the leader with unresolved issues poses a threat” (105).

7. “There is a line that can be unwittingly crossed today when it comes to understanding what it is to lead. We can start to forget where our message begins and where we end. We can forget that we are communicating the gospel and end up broadcasting ourselves” (109).

8. “Yet when it becomes the norm to let everyone know the nice things people are saying about us versus the messages we create for the Kingdom, then we have a cultural problem” (111-12).

9. “Emptiness seeks out thrills and excitement to escape the mundane” (119).

10. “When leaders die to pushing their own agendas and realize that leadership is the act of dying to self, those around them are profoundly transformed. Selfless leadership opens a space for God to flow into” (125).

11. “Leadership is not in the possession of particular skills, traits, or personal attributes. It is primarily in the ability to command a non-anxious persona in an anxious environment” (134).

12. “Leadership power comes not from what I am doing but what He is doing inside of me” (137).

13. “We can devise all kinds of theories, read all the right books, engage in online debate, blog our opinions, yet the whole time be disconnected from actually having skin in the game. Even when our heart is for God’s kingdom, if we are not careful we can find ourselves critiquing from the sidelines of God’s activity within history. There is a world of difference between pundits and prophets” (157).

14. “Traditionally, expert have believed that the decline of marriage and the family follows after the decline of active Christian faith” (175).

15. “Our society of the spectacle reduced people to images. It turned its back upon a foundational biblical truth: when we encounter another, we encounter the image of God” (193).

16. “Biblical leadership is so much more than just leading people. The biblical leader is a symbol who lives at the intersection of God’s breaking into history, into life. The leader can never be distant from God, His Word, or the world” (194).

17. “A revolution has begun. God had defeated chaos. Leviathan was beaten. God had taken the chaos and sin that exists in the human heart upon himself” (200).

18. “In a world in which individual pleasure is everything, in which pain is avoided, the biblical leader with eyes upon the cross walks hand in hand with God into suffering and pain” (208).

19. “In a culture that is increasingly fragmentary, episodic, and confused, the biblical leader acknowledges a sweeping cosmic drama, a narrative that binds together the universe” (209).

20. “God takes His servants through storms to teach them how to prepare for battle … To do this, however, we need leaders, influencers, and creatives who have met Him in the storm” (216).

 

View-Worthy: 7.31.14

Preview

Feminism, Driscoll, Doubt, Sexual Purity.

Headliner

Hannah Anderson. Do We Need Feminism? (CaPC)

To get noticed in social media these days, just start a Tumblr account, set up a Facebook page, and start tweeting under a hashtag that questions the significance of feminism. At least, that’s been the case for the grassroots movement “Women Against Feminism.” Despite its moderate Facebook presence (currently under 17,000 “likes”), #WomenAgainstFeminism has garnered attention from TimeMTV,BBCSalon, and the Daily Beast—all in the same week.

Deal of the Day

Preaching with a Plan: Sermon Strategies for Growing Mature Believers by Scott Gibson .99


Book Review

Greg McKeown. Essentialism. Reviewed by Tim Challies.

Links

Derek Rishmawy. A Few Words About Driscoll, William Wallace II, and Young Pastors.

I generally don’t comment on Mark Driscoll controversies. I do so partially because it feels like click-bait most of the time. Also, because there’s plenty of commentary on him already. Finally, because part of me still feels some sad affection for him. As a young man (like 19) I used to listen to him and I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I learned a lot and grew to love Jesus more. He was funny, he preached the Bible, and was free to download. (Ironically enough, this was the same period that I was also podcasting Rob Bell and learning from him too. Needless to say, like most 19-year-olds, I was a theologically confused young man.) In any case, though I stopped paying attention to him a long time ago, and have been increasingly saddened and frustrated at his antics, I really, really haven’t wanted to weigh in.

Mike Leake. Doubt: A Sexy Virtue.

Every morning, as I scan through over a hundred articles on Feedly, almost without fail there will be an article or two that has something to do with doubt. (I’ve even written a few myself). These are gritty and honest recollections of a not so smooth relationship with the living God. Some of them are more hopeful than the others—but at the end of the day the message is about the same, “We’ve all got doubts, man, it’s cool if you have them too”.

Debra Fileta. Have We Made An Idol Out Of Sexual Purity?

I’ll never forget the look on her face as she shared the story of her dark sexual past, with tears welling up in her eyes.

But the ironic thing is, she was less concerned with what she had done—for she knew God had forgiven her of her past and wiped it clean—and more concerned with what others would think of her.

What if her church friends knew? Could she ever find someone to love her? Did she even deserve that kind of love?

Edify

1 John 3:18 “Little Children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

“Christ’s lovers prove their love by their obedience.” John R W Stott

5 Words on Extemporaneous Preaching (Blogging Theologically Guest Post)

“Not for faint of heart.”

There’s your five words. (Just kidding.)

Extemporaneous preaching isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. I cannot manuscript. I mean, obviously I can, I write a lot and I love to do so. But I don’t like to write out sermons. My writing voice is far too different from my speaking voice. My one attempt at using a manuscripted sermon in a dozen years of preaching was an intolerably, uncomfortable preaching experience. So, you don’t want to come to me for advise about manuscripting a sermon. However, if you want to take a stab at preaching extemporaneously, then listen up. Here are five words of advice:

1. Preach your sermon to yourself during the week

For whatever reason, I don’t preach a dry run of my sermon in front of a mirror, in an empty auditorium, or in front of my family filled couch. No. Instead I preach it in my car, on my face, in the shower, on my bed, and in coffee shops. I do it in clips and in sections. I don’t do it out loud; it’s all in my head. Most of it is prayer. Sometimes you may catch me pacing my study trying to smooth out certain ideas, but I won’t preach the sermon from beginning to end until I’m in front of my congregation.

And it’s likely that what I preach to myself will sound and be different than what I preach to my congregation. Why? I’m preaching to myself, so I need to hear more, less, or different than what my congregation needs.

If you’re not preaching to yourself first, then you won’t preach to your congregation well. The Word of God has to lay ruin to the miserable ways of your soul and refresh you with the grace of God first before it will effectively do so for others. I want the Word of God to strike me between the eyes before I admonish God’s flock with it.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT BLOGGING THEOLOGICALLY…

Five Books on the Atonement

Finding the best books to read on a subject of theology can be a challenge. This series provides suggested resources for topics of Theology. Each title is linked to Amazon, if available. If you have another title to suggest for this area of study, please comment. I’m always happy to add another work to my library.

Here are 5 books that will launch you into studies on the Atonement.

1. Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray

2. From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective edited by David and Jonathan Gibson

3. Christ Crucified: The once-for-all sacrifice by Stephen Charnock

4. God the Peacemaker: How Atonement Brings Shalom (New Studies in Biblical Theology) by Graham A Cole

5. In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement edited by J I Packer and Mark Dever

View-Worthy: 7.30.14

Preview

Traditional Weddings, Places of Pain, Fickle Fame, Grieving Parents.

Headliner

Emma Green. Spiritual Significance of a Traditional Church. (TheAtlantic)

It’s an iconic image: the white dress, the church bells, the priest, the traditional vows repeated by an earnest, fresh-faced couple. Many elements of the archetypical American wedding echo the formality and traditions of the country’s largest single religious tradition, Roman Catholicism. But Catholic weddings themselves are becoming rarer and rarer.

Deal of the Day

Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition by Calvin Miller .99

Book Review

J. Mack Stiles. Evangelism. Reviewed by David Steele.

Links

Kim Jaggers. Barely Standing in Places of Pain. (True Woman)

The air suddenly seemed heavier. My heart began to race, and my breathing became harder. Once again my mind raced back to that horrible time, and what had been a sunny day, became obliterated by painful memories. Once again I found myself at a “pain place.”

Barnabas Piper. The Fickle Pursuit of Fame.

Fame is a fickle thing. It comes to many who do not seek it and is an unwelcome guest. It avoids many who do seek it leaving them in vain pursuit. When it is found by those who seek it is unsatisfactory and often destructive. After being destructive for period it often abandons them, leaving them in a worse state than they were before it arrived.

And the oddest thing about fame is that the people who manage it best are those who act is if they don’t have it.

Kristen Gilles. Dear Grieving Parents. (TGC)

Dear brother and sister in Christ,

Although we haven’t met, God often places you in my thoughts and prayers. My heart is broken for you and your family. I’m so sorry that you have been temporarily parted from your little one. I know your child is safe with him, but I also know you miss your child terribly and long to meet and know him or her. I’m thankful that God will fulfill this longing of yours (and mine for my son Parker) someday.

Edify

Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

“If we love Christ much, surely we shall trust him much.” Thomas Brooks

When Your Household Experiences A Real Life Episode of “House”

Have you ever watched the television series House M.D.? House follows the story of a pain killer addicted, anti-social, and somewhat snarky medical doctor, Gregory House. He and his team of doctors systematically diagnose some of the toughest to pin down illnesses you’ll ever see. The television series is in its eighth season. My wife and I have watched much of this series, but we never suspected that our household would go through a real life experience that might as well have been an episode of House.

At eleven this morning my wife called me and told me that my youngest daughter Adalie had thrown up during her nap. This is irregular for Adalie. She is just over one year and has only had one episode of vomiting. My wife kept an eye on her over the next few hours. During that time she threw up a second time, and her breathing became rapid and heavy. No fever accompanied her condition. At 2 o’clock my wife asked me to come home and watch our eldest two while she took Adalie to the doctor.

After seeing the doctor and a very brief examination, for whatever reason, the doctor asked Kendall to take Adalie to the ER. The doctor described the situation as if Adalie was breathing on one lung. The doctor asked about any choking episodes, which none had taken place as far as we were aware.

My wife crossed the street with Adalie and checked here into the ER. Over the course of the next eight hours little Adalie underwent a chest X-Ray and lab tests. The X-Ray returned clean. They also ruled out RSV, a respiratory virus. After giving her breathing treatments, it seemed that Adalie improved. Yet, for the time being we don’t know what is wrong. Right now little Adalie is on an IV and is staying the night for observation. Mommy has an overnight bag and is staying with her.

All this leads me to think: What do we do when our life becomes an episode of House? This is just how I process, so follow along with me as I share four practical things that I did in the face of these circumstances.

1. We pray.

As soon as it was apparent that something serious was afoot, I texted my wife Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” This has been my ongoing posture for the rest of the day.

Even when I was preoccupied with cooking dinner for our other two kids or walking our dog, I kept tossing up what the Puritans refer to as “ejaculatory prayers” — short prayers that cry out to God with earnest need. These are my cries of helplessness, knowing only that God will be my help.

Peter O’Brien’s commentary on Philippians 4:6 in the New International Greek Testament Commentary aptly says this when referring to the phrase “in everything”:

Paul utters a prayerful wish that their requests may indeed be made known to God … The Phrase means ‘in all thing’ or ‘in every situation’, that is, in every circumstance, rather than ‘always’. (492)

It’s not that we shouldn’t always first turn to God but that, regardless of the situation — its urgency, scope, commitment — we should give that situation to God. No problem is too big or too small for Him to rescue us from our anxiety or worry.

2. We share.

As soon as we discovered that Adalie was going to the ER, we started sharing. I called my parents and Kendall’s dad. I notified our prayer team at Church. I shared via social media. The response overwhelmed me. There is something super comforting about the prayers of the saints wafting up to God as a sweet aroma to Him.

When you share, try to be brief and precise. Let people know precisely what to pray about, and how they can help. Take the opportunity to not just share circumstances but also gospel. You see, not everyone that takes interest may believe. This might just be an opportunity given by God to share the gospel with someone who is in dire need of hearing it.

I am reminded of Mary A’s story in James Janeway and Cotton Mather’s A Token for Children.  As young Mary lay dying at the age of 12, her neighbors visited her. They asked if she would be leaving them. Mary responded: “If your serve the Lord, you shall come to me in glory” (19).

You never know how or in what way these kind of events lead to salvation for the lost. We must make the most of these times for the Most High just like little Mary did for her neighbors. She never wasted on opportunity to make the gospel known.

3. We accept help.

Once we’ve shared and requested help, if help needed, then we must accept it. This is particularly difficult for me. I never want to “put anyone out.” So I try my best to manage without any additional help. I imagine many people do likewise. In spite of our helplessness, this is some small way where we operate under the guise of control.

We must resist this urge and permit others to be hospitable to us. 1 Peter 4:9-10 says, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Accepting help allows others to fulfill their role of loving and exercising the spiritual gifts God has given them. Accept help and praise God for it.

4. We Update.

Finally, a critical component to not forget is updating everyone. Many people are anxiously awaiting your update. Be sure to give them one that will allow them to sleep through the night. Let there be some sort of resolution, even if it means saying that the resolution is that there is no resolution.

For instance, tonight Adalie is staying at the hospital for observation. There is no resolution to what the problem is for her. Yet, I took the time to let everyone know what is going on and what to expect for the night. They all know the circumstances and are able to rest and wait to hear further information tomorrow. Giving clear and succinct updates is critical.

Entrust Your Situation to the Great Physician

We have a great physician with whom we can entrust every situation. Only Jesus can bring ultimate healing and final resolution to all our wearisome ways. Thus, we must entrust the care of our lives to Him. We must let him handle hard things that we wish we could only handle. He came to bring healing to the sick — by sick I refer to our eternal fallen condition in need of reconciliation to God — we need to let Him do it. Our anxiety and the overwhelming sense that we are out of control is an obvious reminder of the truth. The world is fallen and needs restoration. Christ came to restore us to Him for His glory.

But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need for a physician, but those who are sick.” Matthew 9:12

View-Worthy: 7.29.14

Preview

Muslim Converts to Christianity, Deeds & Salvation, How to Stop Sinning, Scholarship and Blogs.

Headliner

Warren Cole Smith. The Rising Tide of Muslim Converts to Christianity. (WORLD)

If you spend any time keeping up with the news, you know that radical Islam is a significant and destructive force in the world. David Garrison, does not disagree with that assessment, but he says it’s only part of the story. There is also a revival in the Muslim world, Garrison says. He believes between 2 and 7 million former Muslims have converted to Christianity in the past two decades, and he has impressive research to back up his claim. He documents his findings in his book A Wind in the House of Islam.

Garrison has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and spent more than 25 years as a missionary with the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Missions Board. I had this conversation with Garrison in Atlanta at the recent International Christian Retail Show.

Deal of the Day

Engaging with the Holy Spirit: Real Questions, Practical Answers by Graham A Cole $0.99

Book Review

Michael Kruger. The Question of Canon. Reviewed by Coleman Ford.

Links

John Piper. Three Ways Our Deeds Relate to Our Salvation. (DG)

One effect of close attention to Scripture is that sweeping generalizations become problematic. This is notably true of the way our works (including our attitudes and words and behavior) relate to our salvation.

David Murray. How Do Sinners Help Sinner Stop Sinning? (Christianity.com)

Christians are not only called to repentance but are also called to call others to repentance. This is often one of the hardest tasks in the Christian life. How do we approach someone who is sinning in a way that will help lead them to repentance?

Larry Hurtado. Scholarly Work and the “Blogosphere”.

I’ve been puzzled in recent days by some readers whose comments suggest that they expect that sound scholarly analysis of serious historical questions can be conveyed persuasively in blog-postings and/or replies to comments.  There seems to be some notion that they shouldn’t have to read books and articles, plow through the data, etc.  So, they ask a question; I respond briefly and point them to some book or article for fuller and more adequate discussion; but then the responses sometimes suggest the folk posing the questions really can’t be bothered.  Yet they often seem to have firm opinions on the issues involved, challenging me to dislodge them to their satisfaction.  So, I think it’s well to try some clarification of things here.

Edify

Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”

“Keep company with the more cheerful sort of the godly; there is no mirth like the mirth of believers.” Richard Baxter

 

Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible General Editor Kevin Vanhoozer

DTIB

This review first appeared at Lifeway’s Pastors Today web blog.

Bibliography

Kevin J Vanhoozer, et al. Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005. 896 pp. $64.99.

Category

Theology

Summary

To understand the purpose of the Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (DTIB), it is best to go straight to the editor’s words: “DTIB provides a Christian theological evaluation of the contemporary issues and approaches pertaining to biblical interpretation with a view to assessing how they enable the church better to hear what God is saying to church and world today” (22).

Let’s start unpacking this by saying what this dictionary is not. This dictionary does not push readers to adopt a particular confessional theology, though many readers have and will. DTIB does not impose its general hermeneutic principles upon readers. Finally, DTIB does not reduce itself to a mere study of the world “behind”, “of”, or “in front of” the biblical text – though it is not less than this either.

So what is it? Basically, if you’re looking for an introduction or refresher on hermeneutics (study of interpretation), schools of interpretation, theological arguments of books of the Bible, or aspects of systematic or biblical theology, then this book will be a game changer for your studies. DTIB contains an article on every major biblical theological motif, the major branches of systematic theology, and every book of the Bible, plus much more.

DTIB’s aim is to go beyond providing head knowledge. The editors say, “This is perhaps the ultimate aim of theological interpretation of the Bible: to know the triune God by participating in the triune life, in the triune mission to creation” (24). To this end the editors of DTIB worked to provide over 250 articles by at least 170 contributors for the purpose of education, edification, and spiritual formation.

Benefit for Pastoral Ministry 

I’ve been traveling around with DTIB for a couple weeks now. DTIB has proven to be a go to guide for my research. I like ISBE and the IVP Bible Dictionaries. I use these two resources all the time. Yet, they are not one-volume resources. It is so helpful to have a solid one-volume resource on your shelf. DTIB is the one for me. Editors Kevin Vanhoozer, Craig Bartholomew, Daniel Treier, and N T Wright thoughtfully selected and paired the articles and contributors for DTIB. The contributors selected for each article are the first-rate scholars in that field of study. You won’t doubt the quality of scholarship here.

And there are a number of ways to make use of this dictionary. Do you want to study through a particular category, like let’s say hermeneutics? Use the List of Articles by Category index beginning on page 867. Or do you want to read all the articles from a particular scholar? Go to the contributor list beginning on page 7. After each contributor’s concise vitae are the boldened article titles that contributor wrote. Or do you want to study the theological argument of each book of the Bible? Begin with Genesis and work your way to Revelation.

As for me, so far I have studied the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, the Temple, Haggai, each of the Pastoral Epistles, and Karl Barth – all prompted by discussions, studies, or teaching/preaching opportunities. DTIB provided a robust supplementation to these other studies and exceedingly accentuated them.

The bibliography at the end of each article may very well be the greatest value of this resource. These bibliographies push readers to dig deeper and build their libraries by going to the essential resources on each subject.

Rating

Essential            Recommended            Helpful            Pass It By

Recommendation

The Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible gives pastors access to the best scholarship in one compact place.

10 Marks of What Pastors Do

IMG_2312You might be wondering if you are called to ministry. You might be wondering if the pastor at your church is called to ministry. You might be wondering how do I find a church that has a qualified pastor. Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum, you’ll find this article helpful.

As I drafted this article, I couldn’t help but think of the Sr. Pastor at Redeemer Fellowship St. Charles, Joe Thorn. He fits this criteria really well. I have the pleasure of calling him my friend, mentor for pastoral ministry, and coach for church planting. But above all those things, he’s my pastor. I say this keeping in mind that Joe is also an elder among elders; these marks are all found in the other elders of Redeemer Fellowship as well: Pat, Brian, Jeff, and our elder candidate, Rob.

Now as you look over these 10 marks, I don’t want you to think, “Well, he didn’t put holiness, humility, or integrity down.” You’re right, I didn’t put those characteristics down and there are still others unsaid that should be conveyed. There will be a post to come where I talk about those things. These marks are not about who a pastor is but what a pastor does. In other words, these are the actions that mark a pastor. This is how a shepherd acts as he cares for the flock God has given him.

If you read and enjoy this article, then I encourage you to share it. If your pastor fits the bill for this description, then tell him. Share this article with him. Say, “Hey pastor, this is you! Thank you for how you do what you do.”

And if you’re a pastor, you might see these marks as daunting. More than anyone, you will feel unworthy of these marks. I’ve pastored for 5 years now, and I know that is the case for me. I feel like I have a ways to go. Yet, day by day, I see the Lord faithfully shaping me into the pastor I am to be.

1. He loves.

1 Timothy 1:5 “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

2. He prays.

Acts 6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

3. He learns.

2 Timothy 3:14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

4. He preaches.

Acts 6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

2 Timothy 4:1 “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

5. He counsels.

1 Peter 5:2 “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly.”

6. He disciples.

2 Timothy 2:2 “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

7. He leads.

1 Peter 5:2 “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly.”

8. He cares for the suffering.

James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”

9. He confronts sin.

1 Timothy 5:20As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.”

10. He confronts false doctrine.

Titus 1:9 “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”

 

View-Worthy: 7.27.14

Preview

Bibliotheca, Pastoral Credibility, Pastoral Pitfalls, Responding to Sermon Praise.

Headliner

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra. Introducing the Bible! Now with Less! (CT)

If you watch Adam Lewis Greene’s Kickstarter campaign page for more than a couple of seconds, you can see the number of pledges pop higher. With two days left, Greene’s goal of raising $37,000 to print a Bible “designed and crafted for reading, separated into four elegant volumes, and free of all numbers and notes” has been met several times over.

In fact, it just surpassed $1 million.

Deal of the Day

Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (Christian Guides to the Classics) by Leland Ryken $3.03

Book Review

John Piper. Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully. Reviewed by Thomas S Kidd. (TGC)

Links

Alastair Roberts. The Loss of Pastoral Credibility in the Age of the Internet.

The Internet has introduced a new level of visibility to areas of our social life, exposing certain uncomfortable realities. Rod Dreher recently wrote a perceptive and troubling piece on the way that the Internet reveals corruption and abuse within the Church and other institutions, provoking a reaction of distrust and a loss of these institutions’ effective authority. While the dramatic collapses of trust in the institutional authority of the Church following the exposure and scrutiny of cases of abuse may receive the most attention, there are other ways—albeit slower and more gradual—in which this trust is being eroded. Perhaps the most significant of these in my experience has been our greater exposure to Church leaders and their thinking.

Tim Chester. Avoiding the Pitfalls of Pastoring. (GCD)

There are two common dangers in pastoral ministry and Paul is alert to both of them. They are what we might call over-pastoring and under-pastoring.

Over-pastoring is what happens when a leader or leaders exercise too much control in the life of the church…Under-pastoring is what happens when a leader or leaders exercise too little leadership within a congregation.

Brian Croft. How Should a Pastor Respond When He is Praised for a Good Sermon.

“Great job…good sermon…that really spoke to me.”  The list of phrases a pastor may hear as church members exit the church goes on.  Inevitably, whether the sermon was good or not, these quick comments will be spoken to us with varying levels of sincerity and it is important that we know how to respond in a God-honoring way.  Here are 4 suggestions:

Edify

“God gives where he finds empty hands.” St. Augustine

Zechariah 4:7 “And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”